FRANKLIN COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The parents of a Franklin County girl hit in the head by a high-powered rifle round want hunters and target shooters to watch where they shoot.
Natalie Reyling of rural West Frankfort said at around 4:30 p.m. on Monday target shooters fired a round from an AK-47 that powered through two walls and a curtain in her home before hitting her 12-year-old daughter in the head.
The bullet did not break Carley Reyling's skin when it struck her, but she said it was a very scary experience nonetheless. Natalie Reyling called it a miracle that her daughter wasn't injured or killed.
"To hit her in the head, God was in this room." said Natalie Reyling. "He stopped that bullet. He really did."
The Franklin County Sheriff's Department is investigating.
Natalie Reyling said deputies located the target shooters and confiscated the high-powered rifle. The home from which the shot was fired is more than a mile away from the Reyling's home.
"Rifle rounds especially can travel long distances," said Conservation Police Officer Tim Lay with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Lay urged target shooters to use extreme caution with high-powered rifles like the AK-47 in this case.
"You actually want to see what you're shooting at, and see what's beyond that - in case you do miss," Lay said. "We don't want that round going into a residential area."
Just days before Illinois' firearm deer season, CPO Lay and the Reylings urged hunters and target shooters to be sure they know where they are shooting.
"I don't have any anger toward the people. I target shoot too," said Carley's dad Tommy Reyling. "They just need to be aware of the safety aspects of it and need to shoot responsibly."
It is illegal to hunt deer with a high-powered rifle in Illinois, but according to CPO Lay, deer slugs can travel a long distance too.